Saturday, April 11, 2009

The latest in sanity

California Senate Bill 250 has been amended and set for a hearing in the Senate Local Government Committee for April 15th. All California fanciers, responsible dog owners and breeders, and clubs should write and oppose this legislation. Letters must be received by April 8 to be reflected on the committee analysis.

SB 250's primary intent is to penalize owners of intact animals and force sterilization of an at-large or unlicensed dog or cat on a first offense - at the owner's sole expense. This is an unreasonable standard as even a responsible owner can have a single incident where an animal is let out by a meter reader, neighbor or faulty gate.

As amended on April 2; SB 250:

 > Allows an unaltered license to be revoked if one citation is issued for a dog being at-large or stray. No legal resourse is provided. Appeals must be made to the animal control agency that is bringing the action against the owner. It also appears that ALL intact animals in an owner's care would be subject to forced sterilization on a single offence.

> Requires a person selling, trading, or placing for adoption an unaltered animal to post the license number if the animal is older than four months, or the age required by the local licensing agency. (The prior version of the bill required a licensing number for any sale of an unaltered animal, and it was unclear how this would affect the sale of puppies and kittens younger than four months who were not required to be license.)

> Requires any unlicensed intact animal that is impounded to be sterilized, even on a first offense.

> Adds a new definition of "custodian" as follows; "Custodian" means any person who undertakes the personal care and control of a dog or cat, or any person who intentionally provides care, security, or sustenance for a dog or cat on the person's property for any period exceeding 30 days. "Custodian" does not include a licensing agency."

Existing state law already requires owners of intact animals to pay a license fee that is at least double that to license a sterilized animal (Food and Agriculture Code Section 30804.5); and provides for enhanced and graduated fines for owners whose intact dogs are impounded (Food and Agriculture Code Section 30804.7). These statutes are sufficient to incentivize owners to sterilize their animals and to address animal control concerns with specific intact animals who are repeatedly impounded.

Please help defeat this harassment... write or fax in opposition.

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